Getting around South Africa for Foreigners and Immigrants

Getting around South Africa

Travelling around South Africa is relatively easy by air, road and rail as South Africa has the most advanced economy and infrastructure on the African continent. When planning to get around South Africa, as with most developed countries in the world you have a range of transportation options to choose from.
Buses in South Africa aren’t as effective as they are in many European countries. However, together with the minibus taxis, they’re the main form of public transport, with a reliable and reasonably comfortable network linking all major cities. Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and several other urban areas have city bus systems. Fares are cheap, and routes, which are signposted, are extensive. However, services usually stop running early in the evening, and there aren’t many buses on weekends.
A good alternative to standard bus lines is Baz Bus, which caters almost exclusively to backpackers and other travellers. Along with the main long-distance bus operator Translux, Greyhound, Intercape Mainliner and SA Roadlink have services connecting most of the major cities.
Car & motorcycle
South Africa is ideal for driving, and away from the main bus and train routes, having your own wheels is the best way to get around. Most major roads are in excellent condition, and off the main routes there are interesting back roads to explore. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road, as in the UK, Japan and Australia.
For more information on buying and renting a car as well as some general driving tips please visits these pages:
Buying a car
Renting a car
General driving tips
By Air
Domestic flights are numerous and connect most of the major towns and cities. It's a good option if you don't have a lot of time to see the whole country. offers some good rates. Click here for a good overview of all domestic airline services offered.
By Train
The Blue Train is the ultimate in luxury train travel offering routes between Pretoria and Cape Town, the Trans-Oranje between Cape Town and Durban via Kimberley and Bloemfontein (each week) and the Trans-Natal Express between Durban and Johannesburg (daily, except Tuesday).
Rovos Rail offers luxury (partly steam) safaris from Pretonia to Cape Town. The Transnet Museum also offers a variety of steam safaris around South Africa and Zimbabwe, and the Trans-Karoo Express travels between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria daily.
All long distance trains are equipped with sleeping compartments, included in fares, and the majority have restaurant cars. Reservations are advised for principal trains and all overnight journeys. There are regular local trains in the Cape Town and Pretoria /Johannesburg urban areas. All trains have 1st and 2nd class accommodation. Children under 2 years of age travel free. Children aged 2 to 11 years pay half fare